The Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) has assured political parties of free, fair and credible local government election scheduled to hold on April 19.
Speaking at a meeting with members of the political parties in the state on Monday, Chairman of EDSIEC, retired Justice James Oyomire, gave detailed measures already put in place to ensure a smooth conduct of the election.
“l welcome you to this meeting arranged to familiarise you with members of the newly constituted EDSIEC members.
“It is to formally inform you that in line with the Edo State local government law 2022 as amended, the commission has resolved to conduct local government election into vacant offices of chairman, vice- chairman and councilors in the 18 local government areas in the state.
“Our task as a commission is to get the state ready for the election, sensitise stakeholders and the public on the conduct of the election.
“We are to announce the date for the election, put appropriate personnel in place, procure the election materials and distribute them to the 4,519 polling units in the 182 wards,” he said.
Oyomire promised the political parties a level playing field and equal opportunities in all the commission’s activities and appealed to them to shun politics of bitterness as election was not a do or die affair.
“I assure you of our cooperation, this commission is fully ready to conduct free fair and credible election in the 18 local government council.
Also speaking, the state chairman, Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Mr Joseph Omorogbe, commended the commission’s efforts towards the conduct of the election.
“This election is a much-awaited and we must remove all vigour and prepare for a successful election.
“I know that there are divergent views about the election, considering the short notice for the election but we will participate in the process because local government is closer to the people,’’ Omorogbe said.
The chairman of the People Democratic Party in Edo, Mr Tony Aziegbemi, expressed the readiness of his political party to participate in the election.
Aziegbemi called on the electorate to come out and vote, as their votes would count.
Meanwhile,the chairman of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Mr Bishop Akhalamhe, has raised concerns over the short notice for the election.
“We are not against the conduct of the local government elections, but the three weeks’ notice for the election is too short.
“We will go back, meet with our members and come out with a position as to whether we will participate in the election or not.
The political parties present at the meeting include, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Labour Party (LP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Action Peoples Party (APP) and Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).
Others are Action Alliance (AA), Accord Party, All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Young Progressives Party (YPP) among others while the All Progressives Congress (APC) did not attend.
Reps Member Loses In Delta Primary
A member of the House of Representatives from Delta State, Ben Igbakpa, has lost the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary.
Mr Igbakpa, who represents Ethiope Federal Constituency, was defeated by Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu, the daughter of a former governor of Delta State, James Ibori.
Mrs Ibori-Suenu scored 46 votes, while Mr Igbakpa scored 22 in a rerun.
Both aspirants had a tie, 34 votes each, during the Sunday’s primary, which caused a rerun to choose the party candidate for the 2023 election.
“I have lost my re-election bid,” Mr Igbakpa tweeted on Tuesday afternoon.
“This is not the outcome we wanted. It is not the outcome the people of Ethiope Federal Constituency wanted.
“The cheers on Sunday, May 22, 2022, demonstrated that, but it does not satisfy the appetite of a few to revise our progress and blur the vision of our people,” he said, on the microblogging site.
The lawmaker said he gave his constituents a fair representation and that they had hope in his future representation, but that “all of these have been painfully stolen by the establishment.
“The grave silence on the streets amplifies the fatal setback for Ethiope Federal Constituency.
“My contest was never about me but for the people, hence their grief. Neither I nor the people prevailed in our hope for sustenance. We have now seen what force and intimidation can do”, he tweeted.
Igbakpa said serving his people in the House of Representatives is one of the greatest honours of his life.
“I feel proud of what we have built together in three years. We have touched the vast expanse of Ethiope Federal Constituency and given our people a loud voice. We have energised our resolve in this instance and vow to continue in the same spirit for progress and unity.
“I will always remain devoted to the development of the Ethiope Federal Constituency and continue to advance my belief in democratic good governance.
“I wish the winners of today’s re-run all the best and I pray that the losers (the people) can endure the outcome and the aftermath,” he said.
Nigerian Idol: Okowa Congratulates Winner, Promises More For Youths
Delta State Governor,Ifeanyi Okowa, has congratulated the winner of Nigerian Idol Season 7, Progress Chukwuyem, describing him as a true son and proud ambassador of the State.
Chukwuyem emerged winner of the Reality TV show after defeating fellow finalist, Zadok on Sunday.
Okowa said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, that the 21-year old songwriter, performer and music minister, was impeccable throughout the competition.
He lauded the organisers of the show and the panel of judges for what he called perfect organisation, leading to the emergence of Chukwuyem.
The winner of the competition, Chukwuyem, hails from Ekwueze-Abavo, Ika South Local Government Area of the State.
Okowa noted that the people of Delta were known for great exploits in reality shows, having won on several occasions in different platforms, adding that the State was gifted with abundant talents.
He said his administration had continued to support youths with talents to realise their potentials, stressing that news like Chukwuyem’s would continue to inspire him to do more for them.
“As a State, we are very delighted that our son, Progress Chukwuyem, won the #NigerianIdol Season 7 competition.
“He has portrayed the Delta character of true patriotism and worthy ambassador of the State, especially with the re-orientation of our youths, through our various schemes and programmes, which have been acknowledged as highly meaningful and successful.
“As a government, we will continue to support talents in sports, creative entertainment and even in business and we are glad that Chukwuyem has added to our pride.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Delta, I thank Deltans and indeed, all Nigerians that supported our son Chukwuyem, to clinch the prize money, as winner of Nigerian Idol Season 7.
“Indeed, beyond the prize, Chukwuyem reached greatness with his God-given talent and distinguished himself as a role model and we are very happy to have him bring honour to our state,” Okowa said.
The Tide’s source reports that the show started with 12 top contestants who emerged from the preliminary stage.
It was premiered on February 6, with the weekly shows covering the auditions that led to the theatre week, before the commencement of the live shows in March.
UNICAL Hosts African Universities On Online Teaching, Quality Assurance
University of Calabar (UNICAL) in collaboration with the Association of African Universities (AAU) is jointly hosting a three-day workshop in Calabar on Quality Assurance and Online Teaching.
The workshop, which drew participants from some African countries, including Ghana, Cameroon, and Zimbabwe, has in attendance lecturers from over 20 Federal and State universities in Nigeria.
Speaking, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Florence Obi, said the institution was pleased to host the workshop for the very first time in the 47 years of its existence.
Noting that the theme of the workshop, “Quality Assurance in Higher and Tertiary Education: Online Teaching and Learning in the Post Covid-19 Era in the University of Calabar” was apt, she said the workshop was coming at a time when UNICAL was making efforts to adopt the dual mode of teaching and working assiduously with a view to stabilise her quality assurance directorate.
“This training workshop offers the opportunity for strengthening the capacity of stakeholders in higher education institutions in Africa for global relevance.
“The theme is carefully selected in line with contemporary times of post Covid-19 era and the clamoring of higher education institutions in Africa to meet global standards in terms of academic excellence.
“Online teaching is not only necessary but urgently needed to accommodate millions of Africans desirous of further studies, especially in the post Covid-19 era.
“It is on this note that I commend the AAU for keeping tab with her objective of providing a forum for cooperation and exchange of information on higher education and research in Africa,” she said.
She told the participants that UNICAL has a rich alumni profile, showcasing state governors, ministers, captains of industries, world ranking academics, legal gurus, top medical experts and educationist, among others.
According to her, UNICAL with over 40,000 students population is ranked 15th best university in Nigeria and the 64th best in Africa.
On her part, the Project Officer/Workshop Coordinator, Association of African Universities, Dr Violet Makuku, said the association came to Calabar due to the commitment of Prof. Obi towards online teaching and quality assurance.
Makuku said, the AAU, which serves as the apex body for higher education in Africa, seeks to impact practical knowledge and skills on the participants toward enhancing online teaching and learning.
“With the Covid-19 pandemic, we came out to say no more face-to-face teaching in classrooms; hence we needed to adopt new methods of teaching.
“Everything has been digitalised, so we need to digitalise online teaching also,” she said.
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